Tales of Zestiria is the latest Tales of Series game announced by Namco Bandai for the PS3. With the game announced for release in Japan on 22nd January 2015 (TBC for US/EU), a playable demo was available for people to try at TGS. Two demos were available; The first demo is related to a short chapter of the in game story while the 2nd demo is related to the battle mechanics of the new Tales series.
The demo displayed some new in game features such as:
Being able to speak to your team mate while they are following you and the map displaying treasure boxes making it harder to miss. During the map, you have the abiity to attach the enemy before they approach you. However I haven’t grasped exactly what this does yet. These were the two features which stood out to me when I played the demo of the story mode. In addition to this the cinematic for the game looked good, though I missed the cell animation from older series however I’m sure they haven’t removed that completely.
The battle mechanics from the 1st and 2nd demo has some mixed reviews from me. The new shift from map to battle system is a very nice feature which has been implemented to make the gameplay feel smoother and faster. Instead of battling on a new battle screen, the battle takes place on map which meant that the transition from field to battle is much faster. However this has had an impact of camera angle and battle space. The battle space feels much smaller than usual however this may be because of the camera settings. However due to the lack of time, changing the settings was the least functionality that was in my mind.
The in game combat uses the similar combo system as graces F and xillia however there is a twist to it now. Instead of a number count, there is a bar which depletes each time a certain move is used. This bar is recovered over time when the character is idle (blocking in my case). The new feature will need time to get used to however it is not too different from Xillia/Graces F. However instead of the link system from Xillia, the game now pairs each character so that they can use the new fusion ability (Kamui). This allows a human and Tenzoku character to fuse into 1 person which changes their appearance as well as battle ability. This new fusion style will allow players to extend their combos and develop new combat styles.
This is still early days however it will be something I will be looking forward to play.